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SDG Summit 2023

  • 23 Oct 2023
  • 7 min read

For Prelims: SDG Summit 2023, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Addis Ababa Action Agenda, Debt Swaps, Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

For Mains: SDG Summit 2023, Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

Source: TH

Why in News?

Recently, the Global leaders expressed apprehension regarding the slow progress in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) during the SDG Summit in New York, the US.

What are the Key Highlights of the SDG Summit 2023?

  • Acknowledging Funding Gap:
    • The annual SDG funding gap, which was USD 2.5 trillion before the pandemic, has now increased to an estimated USD 4.2 trillion, emphasizing the urgent need for substantial investment in achieving the SDGs.
  • Addressing the Finance Challenge:
    • The leaders stressed the importance of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) in achieving the 2030 Agenda, emphasizing efficient use of all financial flows, public and private, for sustainable development.
    • They called for swift implementation of the UN Secretary-General's proposal for an SDG stimulus, a significant increase in funding by USD 500 billion annually.
      • The AAAA is a global framework for financing sustainable development. It aims to discuss and agree upon ways to mobilize resources and provide the necessary financing for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 SDGs.
  • Multilateral Actions and Debt Swaps:
    • To strengthen SDG implementation, the leaders urged multilateral actions and coordination by all creditors, emphasizing scaling up Debt Swaps for SDGs, including climate and nature-related debt swaps.
      • Debt swaps provide opportunities for raising capital in low-income countries to address environmental and other policy challenges and support green growth.
  • Impact of Covid-19:
    • The declaration acknowledged that the Covid-19 Pandemic has disproportionately impacted the SDGs, particularly in the world's poorest and most vulnerable nations. It highlighted the need for an emergency course correction to accelerate progress in achieving the SDGs.
  • Integrating Climate Action and Disaster Risk Reduction:
    • Leaders recommitted to fully implementing the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and pledged to step up efforts to combat climate change.
    • They also committed to operationalizing new finance arrangements to respond to loss and damage, aligning with climate goals.
  • Commitment to 2030 Agenda:
    • The leaders expressed deep concern about the state of SDGs at the halfway point of their implementation, highlighting challenges such as poverty, forced relocations, disparities, and the adverse impacts of climate change.
    • Despite these challenges, they recommitted to fully implementing the 2030 Agenda and 17 SDGs to protect the rights and well-being of all for a sustainable world.

What are the Concerns Related to Progress in SDG?

  • Lack of Progress and Commitment:
    • Despite commitments, the progress towards meeting the 169 targets comprising the 17 SDGs is just 15%, with some areas regressing.
    • The concern is that at the halfway point of the commitment period, there is little confidence in significant progress in the second half.
  • Funding Adequacy and Accessibility:
    • The investment gap in achieving the SDGs in developing countries is estimated to be over USD 4 trillion, significantly higher than earlier estimates, especially with a substantial portion required for the energy transition.
    • This immense financial requirement renders the SDGs seemingly unachievable, raising questions about funding adequacy and accessibility.
  • Dis-synergies and Barriers:
    • Five dis-synergies are identified in SDG interventions, including resource allocation, creation of enabling environments, co-benefits, cost-effectiveness, and saturation limits.
    • Various barriers hinder synergistic action, such as knowledge gaps, political and institutional barriers, and economic challenges, inhibiting the full realization of synergies in SDG implementation.
  • Challenges in Policy Implementation:
    • Inconsistencies and misalignment in policy implementation pose challenges, particularly in achieving renewable energy targets and small-scale applications due to a lack of integration and clear objectives.
  • Climate Change and Environmental Impact:
    • Climate change is identified as a significant challenge, threatening the achievement of SDG targets. Emissions of greenhouse gasses continue to rise globally, with concerns over vulnerability to climate change impacts.

Way Forward

  • Combating climate change and its environmental impacts must be a priority, requiring coordinated global efforts.
  • Encouraging multilateral actions and cooperation among nations is essential to drive progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • The leaders must remain dedicated to the 2030 Agenda, focusing on safeguarding the rights and well-being of all for a sustainable world.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Questions (PYQs)

Q. Sustainable development is described as the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In this perspective, inherently the concept of sustainable development is intertwined with which of the following concepts? (2010)

(a) Social justice and empowerment
(b) Inclusive Growth
(c) Globalization
(d) Carrying capacity

Ans: (d)

Q. The Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE), a UN mechanism to assist countries transition towards greener and more inclusive economies, emerged at (2018)

(a) The Earth Summit on Sustainable Development 2002, Johannesburg.

(b) The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development 2012, Rio de Janeiro.

(c) The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 2015, Paris.

(d) The World Sustainable Development Summit 2016, New Delhi.

Ans: (b)

Q. Consider the following statements: (2016)

  1. The Sustainable Development Goals were first proposed in 1972 by a global think tank called the ‘Club of Rome’.
  2. The Sustainable Development Goals have to be achieved by 2030.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: (b)

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